Planning your next holiday? Here are 10 places you are absolutely, definitely, not allowed to visit — nor would you want to after you’ve read this list…
Surtsey is is a volcanic island located off the southern coast of Iceland. It was formed in a volcanic eruption that began in 1963 and ended in 1967. No humans are allowed on the island — bar a few scientists — to allow for natural ecological succession to take place without outside interference. However, this has not been without its hiccups. In the early years, a tomato plant was found taking root, the result of a scientist going for a poo where they shouldn’t have. Naughty!
#9. Mount Weather
The Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center is a civilian command facility in Virginia, US. The facility is a major relocation site for the highest level of civilian and military officials in case of national disaster, playing a major role in US continuity of government.
Mezhgorye is a closed town in the Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia. It is said that people living in the town work on highly-classified secret work around Mount Yamantaw, which has been suspected to be the location of a nuclear program, a repository of Russian treasures, a bunker in case of war or a huge warehouse of coal. But really, who knows?
Metro-2 (Метро-2) is a secret underground metro system which parallels the public Moscow Metro. It was built by Joseph Stalin and was code-named D-6 by the KGB. It is supposedly still operated by the Russian Ministry of Defence.
The length of Metro-2 is rumored to exceed that of the public Metro and it is said to connect the Kremlin with the Federal Security Service headquarters, in addition to other locations of national importance. The FSB or the Moscow Metro administration refuse to confirm or deny its existence to this very day.
#6. North Sentinel Island
This is one of the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal, where a group of indigenous people, the Sentinelese, live. Their population is estimated to be between 50 and 400 individuals. The Sentinelese reject any contact with other people, and are among the last people on earth to remain virtually untouched by modern civilisation.
Recent attempts to contact the tribe have been met with arrows and stones. More tragically, on 26 January 2006, two fishermen were killed when their boat drifted near the island.
#5. Vatican Secret Archives
The Vatican Secret Archives only not actually so secret after all. They remained absolutely closed to outsiders until 1881, when Pope Leo XIII opened them to selected outsiders. These days thousands of researchers examine its documents each year, but given that the archives contain 52 miles of shelving, some have suggested dark secrets from the past could be lurking, waiting to be discovered. Documents in the archive include Henry VIII of England’s request for a marriage annulment, and letters from Michelangelo complaining about late payment for his work.
#4. Snake Island
About 90 miles from the city of São Paulo lies Ilha de Queimada Grande, or “Snake Island” — a place so filled with venomous serpents that it’s been called one of the world’s deadliest islands. Scientists estimate that up to 4,000 snakes live on the 110-acre island — that’s one snake for every six square yards.
And these aren’t just any snakes. Queimada Grande is the only known home of the golden lancehead, one of the most venomous vipers in the world. The snake’s venom is said to be three to five times stronger than that of any mainland snake. Oh, and it’s capable of melting human flesh. Currently, the Brazilian Navy bans civilians from the island, though scientists sometimes receive waivers.
#3. Room 39
It’s hard enough getting into North Korea. Now imagine trying to get into Room 39, a secretive North Korean government facility home to several illegal operations including counterfeiting $100 bills, production of drugs (including methamphetamine and heroin) and international insurance fraud. Many claim that Room 39 is critical to Kim Jong’s continued power, enabling him to buy political support and fund North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
#2. RAF Menwith Hill
RAF Menwith Hill is a Royal Air Force station in North Yorkshire, England. It provides ‘communications and intelligence support services’ to the UK and the US military. Some of the satellites are controlled directly by the American NSA. It is thought to be the largest electronic monitoring station in the world, originally set up to intercept messages between the Soviet Union and the eastern bloc allies. Many now believe this original scope has widened…
#1. Area 51
The US is renowned for being highly secretive. But the efforts around Area 51, situated in Nevada, is on another level. The base’s current primary purpose is publicly unknown, but is is commonly thought to be used to develop and test experimental aircraft and weapons systems. Many conspiracy theorists believe the area houses UFOs and that aliens are studied here, but with no civilians able to enter, we will never know.